Ageing & Society
Research on Ageing & Society at King’s is led by the Institute of Gerontology. The Institute, led by Professor Simon Biggs, has an established international research programme with a strong emphasis on multidisciplinary and multiagency work.
Positioned within the School of Social Science & Public Policy, the Institute's interests range from the social and economic factors associated with the ageing population through to the psychological,biomedical and social aspects of ageing.The Institute of Gerontology is one of the leading centres worldwide dedicated to the study of ageing and later life. Founded in 1986, it is at the vanguard of multi-disciplinary research, acting as a bridge between the social, clinical and biological sciences. The Institute’s inter-disciplinary nature is reflected in its broad research sponsorship base; it has received funding from four out of five UK-Research Councils (i.e. ESRC, AHRB, EPSRC & BBSRC).
Current research projects include: an elder abuse prevalence study; spirituality and successful ageing; age-friendly cities; older couples and management of household finances; disruptions in family and work life (implications for older people);ageing of populations that traditionally did not survive childhood; ageing, health and support in developing countries; and the social impact and assessment of Falls Prevention Exercise programmes.The Institutute's current research is focused on the following four main areas:
Social and Family Care
Lifecourse Influences on Health and Wellbeing
Transitions in Health and Social Care
Understanding Contemporay Ageing
The Institute, led by Professor Simon Biggs, has an established international research programme with a strong emphasis on multidisciplinary and multiagency work. Staff of the Institute come from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds and contribute widely to the development, implementation and evaluation of social and health policies relating to old age.
Anthea Tinker CBE (Professor of Social Gerontology) has served numerous national and international advisory bodies, including the WHO and the EU as an Expert on Ageing and Technology, and has served as an Advisor to the Secretaries of State and Select Committees on Health in the House of Commons.
Karen Glaser (Senior Lecturer in Gerontology) interests centre on the relationship between population change (e.g. changes in family behaviour) and its implications for well-being in later life (e.g. health and social support).
Karen Lowton (Senior Lecturer in Ageing & Health) is currently working with London Fire Brigade and NHS Falls Services in leading the first proof of concept study of the integration of falls and domestic fire risk assessments for a vulnerable older population.
Debora Price (Lecturer in Social Gerontology) is currently principal investigator on Behind Closed Doors: Older People and the Management of Household Money. This project is funded by the ESRC, and includes a sociological investigation of household money management within older couples, quantitative analysis of financial inequalities among older couples using ELSA, and analysis of social policy relating to finance for older people.
Professor Jill Manthorpe is the editorial board chair for the journal Ageing and Society and is Head of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit.
The unit also has many research projects on older people, as does the Department of Epidemiology in the Institute of Psychiatry
Other departments also contribute to the expertise in social gerontology at King’s. The Department of Palliative Care, under Professor Irene Higginson OBE, conducts research on end of life preferences for older people. Professor Higginson has made substantial contributions to public policy in this area via her WHO consultations and publications.
Examples of current studies
Behind Closed Doors: Older People and the Management of Household Money. Read more here.
Improving the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable older people through professional integration of falls and accidental domestic fires risk assessments. Read more here.